5 Easy and Inexpensive Meals to Feed a Family of 4

Quick and Easy Meals


I have compiled a list of 5 fast and easy meals that can be prepared with little effort and minimal costs to feed a family of 4.  These are all tried and true recipes that I prepare all the time for my family especially when time is limited, as it often is during sports season… which seems to be all year long now.

I’m not making any claims to how healthy these meals are, though I can say that they are definitely not unhealthy.  They are tasty, fun, and have lots of room for personal taste adjustments.  So, enjoy them and come back to tell me what you think.

Oven Roasted Turkey Grilled Cheese on Texas Toast

  • · 8 slices of thick Texas Toast
  •   16 slices of cheese (whatever type you like)
  •   16 slices of Oven Roasted Turkey (from your deli)
  •   Butter
  •   2 tsp. olive oil

Prepare by first buttering the inside of each slice of Texas Toast. Add a slice of cheese, then the turkey then another slice of cheese. Oil or butter the pan and cook each side of the sandwich for 2 minutes or until golden brown. Best if served with chips or potato wedges.

Crock Pot Beef Stew

  • · 2lbs stew meat (it’s already cut up so nothing to prepare)
  • · 1 bag frozen mixed vegetables (the kind you would use in stir fry works well)
  • · 1 can of minestrone (or any beef based soup)
  • · 1 tsp. salt
  • · 1 tsp. pepper
  • · 1 tbs. Worcestershire sauce (optional)
  • · 1 tbs. Soy sauce (optional)

Begin by adding the bag of frozen vegetables inside the crock pot. Add the meat on top of the vegetables. Add the remaining ingredients on top of the meat. Do Not Add Water. Cook on high for 4 to 6 hours or cook on low for 8 to 9 hours.

This is a good meal to prepare before leaving for work because it only takes a few minutes and then you can forget about it until you return home.

Barbequed Pulled Pork in a Crock Pot

  • · 4 lbs pork shoulder roast (one that will fit inside your crock pot)
  • · 2 medium white onions (sliced, not diced, for flavor)
  • · 2 cups of barbecue sauce (bottled or homemade to your taste)
  • · 1 ½ cups of water

Start by adding half of the sliced onions to the bottom of the crock pot. Add the shoulder roast on top of the onions. Add the water and then the remaining onions. Cook the roast on HIGH for 4 to 5 hours then remove and drain the liquid.

Separate and coarsely chop, or shred the meat and then replace it into the crock pot. Add your barbeque sauce. You may also return the sliced onion if you choose. Cook again on HIGH for an additional 4 to 5 hours.

Serve on plates or large buns with your choice of vegetables or potato wedges. This recipe makes enough pulled pork to serve 8 to 10 people at one sitting, but since it such a long cook time, I would suggest this be a weekend creation with plenty of weekend snacking.

Cheeseburger and French Fries Casserole


·         1 ½ lbs of ground beef (browned and drained)

·         1 bag frozen French Fries (usually 1 ½ pounds also)

·         1 can cheddar cheese soup

·         1 bag shredded cheese

·         1 large sliced onion (optional)

Start by placing the browned ground beef at the bottom of the casserole dish.  Spread the can of soup evenly over the meat along with the sliced onions (optional.) Add the frozen French Fries on top and then spread the shredded cheese over the fries.

Cover the casserole and bake in the oven at 350 for one hour.  No need to serve anything with this except maybe some apple pie.

Chicken Quesadilla

  • · 4 large flour tortillas
  • · 1 lbs chicken (cooked, diced or shredded)
  • · 1 bag shredded cheese (Sharp Cheddar or Monterey Jack)
  • · 2 tbs. olive oil (or butter)

Other optional ingredients for filler can include diced tomatoes, sliced black olives, sliced mushrooms, chopped green onions, chopped lettuce, and avocado.

To start, each tortilla will require a half teaspoon of oil or butter heated in a large pan. Place a tortilla in the hot pan and cook each side until you see air pockets start to form. After the air pockets form you can add your handful of shredded cheese over the entire tortilla. Add the cooked chicken to half the tortilla. You can also add any optional ingredients now too but don’t make it too thick.

You can reduce the heat and when the cheese is sufficiently melted, fold one side of the tortilla over the spread. Flip the entire quesadilla over repeatedly every 10 to 15 seconds until the tortilla is browned. Once browned, remove from pan and cut into wedges.

You can serve this with sour cream, salsa, or guacamole and also cover with shredded iceberg lettuce.

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Comments 20 comments

Beth100 profile image

Beth100 7 years ago from Canada

These sound very savory! The cheeseburger and french fry casserole will be a try for me as well as the crock pot beef stew. Like you, I'm pinched for time between sports, work and homework. Thanks for sharing these quick recipes!

livewithrichard profile image

livewithrichard 7 years ago from Charleston, SC Author

Both are very good choices Beth. I hope you like them.

Dame Scribe profile image

Dame Scribe 7 years ago from Canada

I am one always on the lookout for fast simple meals since my boys are always on the run to somewhere, :) great ideas here, thanks.

livewithrichard profile image

livewithrichard 7 years ago from Charleston, SC Author

Thanks Dame for the comment. Not only are these meals quick and easy to prepare, they are also very tasty and filling.

Ladybird33 profile image

Ladybird33 7 years ago from Georgia USA

Richard, love this hub and going to try the cheeseburger cassrole tonight. My family will love it. This hub is unique and I love it!

livewithrichard profile image

livewithrichard 7 years ago from Charleston, SC Author

Thanks Ladybird33, it's one of our favorites too, we have it once or twice a month and there is never any leftovers..lol

TamCor profile image

TamCor 7 years ago from Ohio

Wow--thanks for pointing me to this hub--these recipes sound great--especially the cheeseburger/french fries casserole!

My kids are grown, so I don't often have to rush for meals anymore, but I love quick and easy, 'cause sometimes I just am NOT in the mood to cook, lol...

Thanks again!:)

livewithrichard profile image

livewithrichard 7 years ago from Charleston, SC Author

Thanks TamCor, I think your recipe was great too.

TamCor profile image

TamCor 7 years ago from Ohio

Richard--I'm wanting to try the cheeseburger/french fries casserole next week, but I had one question--hope you don't mind?

What size casserole dish do you use for this? 9" square...or bigger?

Thanks! :)

livewithrichard profile image

livewithrichard 7 years ago from Charleston, SC Author

Not a problem at all, I should have mentioned that I use a 9 x 13 casserole dish but I'm sure any 2qt casserole will do. Let me know how you like it.

TamCor profile image

TamCor 7 years ago from Ohio

Okay--thank you...we can't wait to try it!

TamCor profile image

TamCor 7 years ago from Ohio

Hi--me, again, lol...

Just wanted to let you know that I fixed the cheeseburger/fries dish tonight, and everyone loved it! I did add some cumin and chili powder to the hamburger, though, just because we like those type of seasonings--but I'm sure it's just as good without them!

Thanks again for the great recipe!:)

thelesleyshow profile image

thelesleyshow 7 years ago from US

I typed in the keyword "inexpensive crock pot meals" and you came up # 1. I wasn't even looking through hubpages, I was just looking for a inexpensive crock pot meal...lol Great hub. We'll be having the beef stew tomorrow night.

livewithrichard profile image

livewithrichard 7 years ago from Charleston, SC Author

Wow Lesley, thats good news. I must be doing something right. LoL we just had the beef stew last night.

livewithrichard profile image

livewithrichard 7 years ago from Charleston, SC Author

Hi TamCor, I knew it would be a hit. That's the great thing about these recipes, they are very simple and open for adjustments to your own tastes.

Love of Writing profile image

Love of Writing 7 years ago

Those sound delicious. I think I may have to try the cheeseburger and french fry one as well. Thanx for sharing.

livewithrichard profile image

livewithrichard 7 years ago from Charleston, SC Author

LoW that's one of our favorites, I'm sure you will enjoy. Thanks for the visit and comment.

kephrira profile image

kephrira 7 years ago from Birmingham

They sound lovely, and don't use lots of herbs and spices that I won't have, which is nice. I've just added a link to this hub to my frugal living blog http://frugalist.bookmarkedby.us/ so that other people can enjoy them too!

livewithrichard profile image

livewithrichard 7 years ago from Charleston, SC Author

Thank you Kephrira. These are all very easy recipes and all very tasty and cheap to prepare.

Granny's House profile image

Granny's House 6 years ago from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time

Don't the french fries get soggy? I really want to know. I want to make the cheeseburger french fry dish, but I can't stand anything soggy.

Will rate up.

Thanks for the recipes

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